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Croatians abroad send €4.25 billion to Croatia, over 7% percent of GDP

Croatians abroad send €4.25 billion to Croatia, over 7% percent of GDP

Croatians abroad send €4.25 billion to Croatia, over 7% percent of GDP

Of all EU member states, Croatia is the most dependent on private remittances from its citizens who live and work abroad, and the amount they sent back is over seven percent of the country’s GDP.

In 2021, Croatian citizens abroad sent €4.25 billion to private accounts in Croatia, the European Statistical Office said last week. 

Private remittances to Croatia fell in 2020, but in 2021 they exceeded the amount from the pre-pandemic year. In 2019, €3.8 billion arrived in Croatia, whilst foreigners working and living in Croatia sent €476 million out of the country, daily Večernji list reported.

Thanks to private remittances, three countries, France, Belgium and Croatia, achieved a surplus on the current account, that is, they would have been in the red on the balance sheet with the world if they had not profited from the export of their own population.

Foreigners employed or who immigrated to Croatia sent €534 million back home to their countries in 2021, of which €226 million were paid to one of the EU members, and €308 million to countries outside the EU.

Croatia leads the way in the EU when it comes to share of private remittances to the national GDP. After Croatia, who leads with over 7 percent are Latvia and Romania with 3 percent. 

In terms of transfers, Croatia is side by side with Serbia, and only Kosovo (18% of GDP), Montenegro (10%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (10.5%) and Albania have a greater importance of private remittances for the national economy and GDP.

For the sake of comparison, private remittances from abroad make up only 1.2 percent of Slovenia’s GDP.

Eurostat states that 56% of the total €131 billion of all cross-border transfers went from one EU member state to another, which is not surprising given that EU citizens can move and work freely throughout the EU market. 

There are, however, exceptions: outflows from Poland (98%), Greece (92%) and Spain (90%) are directed predominantly to economies outside the EU; while Ireland (90%), Italy (86%) and Lithuania (71%) received their remittances mainly from outside the EU. 

The most attractive location for employment of EU citizens outside the common EU area was Switzerland, from where €15.5 billion were paid to France, €6.1 billion to Germany, €5 billion to Italy, €1.1 billion to Portugal and €700 million to Austria. Romania (€1 billion ) and Poland (€0.6 billion) continue to receive substantial sums from Great Britain.

Large net outflows in 2021 were recorded with Morocco (€5.0 billion), the Philippines (€2.0 billion), Turkey (€1.5 billion), China (€1.3 billion) and India (€1. 3 billion). 

If we look at other transition countries, the Czech Republic received €3.7 billion private remittances, but €3.4 billion were paid out from that country, remittances to Hungary were €3 billion, and payments were €1.1 billion, and to Romania €7.7 billion were deposited into citizens’ accounts.

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